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My wife is starting a new job in a few weeks; it's a graduate role with a 2 year contract. She became pregnant after the job offer but there was a long delay in the recruitment process before she actually got a contract to sign. In this time, she felt like because she hadn't actually signed the contract, she didn't want to disclose her pregnancy and risk the offer being withdrawn. Maybe some might see this as unfair to the company, but she worked very hard to be offered this position and is eager to start it and continue it after her maternity leave.

When she starts, it will be obvious she's pregnant (7 months) and is likely to only be working a month before taking maternity leave. She plans to discuss this with her manager on day 1. How do you think she should conduct herself on day one and discuss this with her manager? Would you think there could be any backlash against not disclosing her pregnancy before hand?

  • Is she in contract or yet to start? – Twyxz Aug 24 '18 at 13:56
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    Why doesn't she want to let them know before day 1? Seems very unfair to the company, I'd sack her soon after she started. – Kilisi Aug 25 '18 at 10:31
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    Glad you're not her boss, then. – Zeke Aug 25 '18 at 14:27
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    According to workplacerelations.ie/en/Publications_Forms/… (p36), "What can I do if I feel I’m being dismissed or being discriminated against because of my pregnancy? You can bring a claim under the Employment Equality Acts 1998–2011 for discriminatory dismissal on the grounds of gender or in relation to pregnancy or maternity leave to the Workplace Relations (which covers The Rights Commission and the Equality Tribunal) or to the Circuit Court." So the management conduct suggested in a comment above would seem to be illegal. – aem Aug 29 '18 at 21:33
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    @aem Obviously one would not say it's because of the pregnancy. One would say it's a breach of trust for withholding information that is very relevant for the company. Expect to be let go as soon as possible. – Caroline Aug 30 '18 at 8:48
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How do you think she should conduct herself on day one and discuss this with her manager?

Would you think there could be any backlash against not disclosing her pregnancy before hand?

In general, she should conduct herself as if she were any other new employee.

During her first week, she should make a point of discussing her maternity plans with her boss and potentially HR. She should talk about when she intends to leave and when she expects to return. She should make sure to discuss how payments will be handled. In Ireland some folks get their maternity benefits paid through social insurance, but some employers pay the salary and collect the benefits instead. She should work with her employer to arrange that. Hopefully she has already paid into PRSI enough so that she is eligible.

Additionally, her maternity leave must be certified by her employer. That may require written documents from her doctors.

Since her departure will be coming up rather quickly, it's only fair to her, her coworkers, and everyone else that she be clear about this. For example, it wouldn't make sense for her to be assigned a lengthy project, only to be forced to drop it in the middle.

There could indeed be bad feelings for not disclosing her pregnancy beforehand. That's only human nature. They hired someone who they thought would be able to work. Now that worker shows up at the expected date with a rather big surprise and will quickly be away for a while. One would expect the same for any other major unannounced surprises from a new hire. She should try not to feel defensive about that, and she should try to do everything she can to mitigate the burden imposed on others.

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I had a similar experience. I wasn't pregnant when I interviewed for the job, but it took them about a year to offer me the position and I was 8 months pregnant when I started. I signed the contract and then after I received my start date, I informed them that I would like to know what their maternity policy was and the dates I would be out.

My advice would be for her to ensure she signs the contract BEFORE disclosing the fact that she's pregnant. You say shes only going to work one month? If you're in the states, that might be hard to pull off. I accepted my job, worked until I popped and only took 6 weeks maternity after that to recover. I didn't have enough time with the company to qualify for Short term disability so, in order to get the better job, I had to make some sacrifices. See if she really is ready to do that. There should not be any backlash. I would still send out an email before hand so people are like whoaaaaa. Just give them a heads up. Also, if she gets any backlash, read up some on this.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pregnancy_Discrimination_Act https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pregnancy_discrimination#United_States

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  • I'm not sure about your maternity time (it's probably better than the US either way) but you at least still have some discrimination laws! So, she should be good to go :) eumom.ie/pregnancy/… I'd still say send an email before just showing up. Just as a courtesy since they'll have more things to discuss with her than the average new employee. – Natalie Aug 29 '18 at 19:39

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